...and the beat of my heart and that joy is found in You!
If I could describe the past few days in one word, it would be, surprisingly: JOY ! Remember my post a few weeks ago about Anticipatory Joy? And the one about my lemon? Well, as anticipated, my awesomely faithful God has been giving me heaps of sugar and turning my lemon to lemonade faster than I ever thought possible.
One small, JOY-bringing thing lately was the weather. How can you not be happy when the sun is shining, it's warm out, and everything is budding and coming to life?!? I can even appreciate the rain today - it's a good reason to relax on the couch!
The biggest thing that brought me JOY was the message our pastor delivered yesterday morning. As I've experienced joy the past few days, this little voice keeps popping up in my mind asking if it's okay to feel like this so soon after losing Isaac. I know I deserve to be happy, Isaac would want me to be happy, and all of that - I just didn't expect it this soon. It's not total and complete happiness, everytime I see a picture of Isaac, my heart breaks a little. But, I think there is a big difference between "joy" and "happiness" - and I do feel joy.
This morning's message validated my JOY. It started with a trashcan and a recycling bin on stage at church. Pastor Ed asked us what we do with our pain. Do we simply try to throw it away...let it sit and fester in a landfill? Or do we put it in the recycling bin, asking God to take our pain and reshape it into something good? I knew my answer. I knew that all along, God was not doing this in vain...that God was going to us it, and I was working hard to keep giving Him my pain and letting Him use it. It gives me so much joy to hear from people who say how much Isaac inspired them, or who are encouraged by ready my words - it is for those reasons that I can feel JOY.
I could rehash the whole sermon for you, it was that good, but I won't! (You can listen to it here if you'd like!) I'll just pull out my favorite verse: "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." (Romans 8:18) Isn't that awesome? All the crap we go through on earth is NOTHING compared to the total and complete JOY we will feel when we finally reach GLORY! It reminds me of the joy Isaac is feeling in Heaven right now, and how awesome it must be, and I am so happy for him!! That hope - that hope that he is Heaven because I know he had a strong relationship with Jesus Christ - that hope is what gives me JOY!